Livingstone’s Offer to Qaddafi

By Beacon Staff

This New York Times piece is making rounds today. It involves Montana gubernatorial candidate Neil Livingstone’s offer to help the late Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi leave his country for a fee. <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/18/world/africa/us-group-offered-to-aid-qaddafi-documents-show.html?_r=1&hp" title="From the Times: “>From the Times:

Even as NATO bombed Libya, the Americans offered to make Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi their client — and charge him a hefty consulting fee. Their price: a $10 million retainer before beginning negotiations with Colonel Qaddafi’s representatives.

“The fees and payments set forth in this contract are MINIMUM NON-REFUNDABLE FEES,” said the draft contract, with capital letters for emphasis. “The fees are an inducement for the ATTORNEYS AND ADVISORS to take the case and nothing else.”

Neil C. Livingstone, 65, the terrorism specialist and consultant, said he helped put together the deal after hearing that one of Colonel Qaddafi’s sons, Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi, was interested in an exit strategy for the family. But he and his partners were not going to work for free, Mr. Livingstone said.

“We were not an eleemosynary organization,” he said.

Mr. Livingstone, a television commentator and prolific author who moved home to Montana this year to try a run for governor, said he had long been a vocal critic of Colonel Qaddafi and was briefly jailed by his government on a visit to Libya in the 1970s. The goal of the consulting deal, he insisted, was not to save Colonel Qaddafi but to prevent a bloodbath in Libya by creating a quick way out for the ruler and his family.

You can read the piece in its entirety here.